Browse Definitions :
Definition

hole

In physics, a hole is an electric charge carrier with a positive charge, equal in magnitude but opposite in polarity to the charge on the electron.   Holes and electrons are the two types of charge carriers responsible for current in semiconductor materials.

A hole is the absence of an electron in a particular place in an atom.  Although it is not a physical particle in the same sense as an electron, a hole can be passed from atom to atom in a semiconductor material.  Electrons orbit the nucleus at defined energy levels called bands or shells.  A hole forms in an atom when an electron moves from the so-called valence band (the shell outside the closed shells that is partially or completely filled with electrons) into the conduction band (the outer "cloud" from which electrons most easily escape from, or are accepted by, the atom).

Both electrons and holes are present in any semiconductor substance.  Electrons flow from minus to plus, and holes "flow" from plus to minus.  The more abundant charge carriers are called majority carriers; the less abundant are called minority carriers.  In N-type semiconductor material, electrons are the majority carriers and holes are the minority carriers.  In P-type semiconductor material, the opposite is true.

In the processing of semiconductors, the number of charge carriers can be increased by a process known as doping, which consists of adding minute amounts of elements called impurities.   Certain impurities, when added to a semiconducting element such as silicon, increase the number of electrons and produce an N-type material; other impurities increase the number of holes and produce a P-type material.  Both N-type and P-type material are important in the manufacture of solid-state electronic components.

This was last updated in May 2008
SearchCompliance
  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

  • risk avoidance

    Risk avoidance is the elimination of hazards, activities and exposures that can negatively affect an organization and its assets.

SearchSecurity
  • script kiddie

    Script kiddie is a derogative term that computer hackers coined to refer to immature, but often just as dangerous, exploiters of ...

  • cipher

    In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for encrypting and decrypting data.

  • What is risk analysis?

    Risk analysis is the process of identifying and analyzing potential issues that could negatively impact key business initiatives ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

SearchStorage
  • gigabyte (GB)

    A gigabyte (GB) -- pronounced with two hard Gs -- is a unit of data storage capacity that is roughly equivalent to 1 billion ...

  • MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory)

    MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) is a method of storing data bits using magnetic states instead of the electrical ...

  • storage volume

    A storage volume is an identifiable unit of data storage. It can be a removable hard disk, but it does not have to be a unit that...

Close